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THE LOST SLAYER: PART TWO - DARK TIMES

Reading most of the online reviews of Christopher Golden's The Lost Slayer serial novel, I can only assume that there are two versions - the one that everyone else seems to have read, and the one sitting on the bookshelf in front of me.

Established continuity can be one of the strengths of a spin-off novel, but it can also be a weakness.  We've seen this with Pocket Books' alternate season three of Buffy and the number of Angel novels they've tried to fit in between City of and Hero.

The Lost Slayer also suffers from this need to remain true to the television series' continuity.  Many fans have speculated that the Watchers Council could kill off Slayers a la Buffy in Prophecy Girl in order to give them an army of Slayers, or what would happen if the opposite occurred, and instead of killing a Slayer the forces of darkness merely seek to imprison her.

Dark Times sets up this second scenario, with Buffy - five years out of her time - coming face to face with her replacement.  Or rather, with Faith's replacement.  Realising just why she's been imprisoned August has a simple solution to the problem - she must kill Buffy.

The problem with this element of the story is that in a spin-off novel it's ultimately pointless.  In a piece of fanfic, the writer could kill off Buffy and veer into his or her own continuity, but here we know that August won't kill Buffy.  Furthermore, although Golden probably wouldn't have known this at the time, Joss Whedon has said the line of Slayer succession rests with Faith, so her killing Buffy wouldn't have called a new Slayer anyway.

Escaping from her prison, Buffy finds herself in a nightmare world similar to the vampire-fest of The Wish, only the fact that we've seen it all before meant it didn't really have that much of an impact for me.  Meanwhile, back in Sunnydale during the early part of season four, Willow is taking centre stage (as you would assume from the cover).

Despite being pretty violent for a Buffy novel I can't say I found an awful lot to enjoy about Dark Times.  Having to stick with the TV series' continuity means that I suspect some magical bollocks will be brought into play to resolve the situation, and for me, the identity of the vampires' King wasn't the shocker that some people seem to have found it.

Another average installment then, and I'm seriously starting to doubt whether this one is going to be worth the twelve quid that it'll end up costing. Back to the top

THE LOST SLAYER
PART TWO: DARK TIMES


Written by CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN

POCKET BOOKS

$2.99 / 2.99


RATING: 5/10